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Thanks for posting this! This speaks perfectly to some things our Sunday School program has been dealing with! 

Well this is very timely post! All of this information is rattling around in my brain as we approach a more formal way of discipling the teen volunteers in our children's ministry programs. This will be a big help :) Thanks!


We are currently using Kid Connection from Faith Alive.  We looked at Dwell but didn't feel it fit our kids. Kid Connection is older, but I love the 4 year scope and sequence. I'm trying to add bits and pieces to it (multimedia, additional large group activities, and special Sundays) so that we've got the best of both worlds. 


Im curious what ages does your program run? I find that gets a bit tricky; I like your have one story so each family can go home and discuss one lesson, not 5, but it also has to be approachable for each age. I do know a couple churches in our area (1 CRC, 2 others) that are using material from Orange and love it. I personally like knowing FaithAlive's stuff comes from a Reformed perspective rather than examining other material, but that might be something from you to look at! 


We have the opposite problem in our church; over 80 kids, with classes of 15. But I've done a lot of Children's Ministry in different circumstances. What's your age range like? It's easier to do something if the kids are a bit older. Are your youth involved in the program? I love the energy and enthusiasm my young helpers bring. 

One of the things I've seen work well is having the group work together to create something, on a theme or specific Bible story. So one week, you could explore Daniel and the Lion's Den by first reading the story out of a Children's Bible and then creating a Reader's Theatre play. The youngest children would be simple character such as lions, while older children would be the King and Daniel; the younger kids get the story basics, while older kids are encouraged to reflect on how Daniel may have felt, situations they may find themselves in that would be similar etcetera. The kids could present for their parents at the end of the service.  Another week, you could show video on Jonah and then work together to create a mural showing Jonah inside the fish. 

I know there are churches in my area that have one Sunday a month where the service is intentionally led for the kids. They do more interactive songs, incorporate various media, and have simpler teachings. This is coupled with their Sunday School program on the other weeks of the month. And I've heard great things about the WE curriculum from Faith Alive, though I've never tried it. 

I wish you all the best in planning! 

Caryn Tilstra, Smithville CRC

I think this is 100% what we are being called to do...shift our focus. But I'm also 95% overwhelmed trying to figure out how to do that, while mourning the personal contact and connection with each and every one of my kids. On Sunday, after the live stream service, we taped a baptism to use in a service mid-August. God's timing is amazing; boy did I need the reminder that we promise to disciple these kids (not provide a program for them), and we do so God helping us. I might be overwhelmed... but God knows exactly where we're going and His plan will always be better than mine!

I'm not sure what kind of content you plan to put in, but we send out a weekly newsletter that contains a calendar for the week, announcements, birthdays etc. All in Microsoft Word. I can send you ours as an example if you want to post your email?

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